Sunday, December 11, 2011

ACOs are an Unwelcome Bump On the Road to Inevitable Regulation of Health Care? A Former Presidential Candidate Says So

Want to better understand the perpetual anguish of a chronic illness?  Well, thanks to online streaming from the Harvard School of Public Health, readers can better appreciate the eerie similarities between hyperprogressive liberalism and incurable diseases like elevated blood sugars.  Both can go on for decades, are irreversible, cost a lot of money and are ultimately caused by inappropriate choices.  The Disease Management Care Blog is, of course, writing about this hour long video of former Massachusetts Governor and former Democratic Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.

Sadly for health reform Obamaists, the supremely competent and confident Mr. Dukakis trashes the concept of accountable care organizations at about the minute 35 mark, dismissing it as a reincarnation of 1990's style HMOs and capitation.  And he doesn't stop there. The additional problem, he says, is that we'll waste ten years analyzing what he foresees will be a foregone conclusion: ACOs are destined to fail. 

What's more, since health care markets are such a dismal option, he concludes the only choice that's left is price-setting "regulation."  Assume State Insurance Departments have power over hospitals, call everyone into a room, assume they're decent people, appeal to their economic self interest and everyone will be happy.

Yet, once the DMCB got over Mr. Dukakis' "legend in his own mind" persona, it believed the former Governor has a good point: if ACOs fail, we'll be left with two choices:

1) a governing class who is ready to step in with enlightened top-down governance or

2) a reintroduction of market forces that seeks bottom up competition and consumerism.

In the interest of fairness, if readers want to see a counter-argument in favor of markets, check out this one-sided nine minute Cato Institute video that teaches us we've haven't really had a health care market for decades. 

Alternatively, if you're in the mood for neither of the above videos, perhaps your time would be better spent on viewing something that offers far more than either of the options above. 

You Go Bizzle!

Image from Wikipedia

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